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Defiance centers on Tuvia Bielski, an ordinary citizen turned hero who turned a group of war refugees into powerful freedom fighters. Tuvia, along with his unyielding brother, Zus, motivate hundreds of civilians to join their ranks against the Nazi regime.
Zwick wants to tell timeless stories on a grand scale. I know that's not what people want anymore. I know it's not breathtaking. But it's not something many are doing now, and definitely not doing it this well.
I felt like these characters were prototypes and not people.
January 20, 2009
It's understandable and laudable that they desire not to sensationalize the Bielskis, and they've made a worthy film. But their understated approach makes the struggle seem less urgent than it must surely have been.
Ultimately, the film celebrates and memorializes the survival of something unthinkable, and a group of people for whom defiance meant, at heart, that they would push against the growing darkness and carry on.